Is it Tebow Time again?
The bombastic First Take crew, Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless, assigned grades to comeback-minded quarterback Tim Tebow for his performance against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday in an NFL preseason matchup.
First Take on ESPN is now hosted by Molly Qerim, who took over when Cari Champion moved to SportsCenter, and as such, has inherited the task of navigating between the two over-the-top talkers.
The Philadelphia Eagles appear to have a logjam at the QB position with Sam Bradford (the likely starter once the regular season commences), Matt Barkley, Mark Sanchez, and Tebow all vying for a roster spot.
In the Eagles 36-10 win over the Colts, Tebow – who has been out of pro football for about two years after being cut by the New England Patriots in September 2013– went 6-12 for 69 yards, along with 15 rushing yards, and one touchdown.
According to Smith, Tebow merited a C+ because he is still struggling to throw the football at the NFL level, and as such, he’d be lucky to make the Eagles as the third-string QB. “I saw a couple of decent passes; if you want a cookie for that, so be it.”
Smith acknowledged that Tebow is a great guy and deserves to be in an NFL locker room but not at the signal-calling position, where he is inept. He is only in training camp because of his likeability and his strong personal character, Smith insisted. “It’s almost impossible to root against him.”
“The quarterback position requires that you’re supposed to know how to throw; Tim Tebow does not. That’s the bottom line,” Smith declared.
A long-time Tebow booster, Bayless disagreed with Smith as he often does, but only to an extent. He gave Tebow a B grade. The ESPN analyst only saw minimal improvement in Tebow’s passing, although the QB was hampered by several bad snaps, according to Bayless. Smith’s verbose counterpart also argued that head coach Chip Kelly and Tebow share a strong rapport, that the coach supposedly likes the “it factor” and the “momentum factor” that Tebow brings to the team. He also claimed that Tebow can make plays primarily as a running quarterback that other QBs can’t.
Bayless noted that according to his sources, the Eagles were on the verge of trading Barkley, who played well on Sunday, which would have helped Tebow’s cause, but the deal fell apart.
Both ESPN analysts agreed that the New York Jets sabotaged Tebow by not giving him any playing time.
As far as the Eagles’ QB depth chart, Bayless called Sanchez the “ultimate accident waiting to happen,” while Smith said that Sanchez can throw better than Tebow, but lacks the intangibles required for the position.
Tim Tebow, the 2007 Heisman trophy winner from the University of Florida, was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the first round of the NFL Draft in 2010. After two seasons there (which included a playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers), Tebow was picked up by the New York Jets where, as alluded to above, he languished on the bench. Overall, Tim Tebow has 29 touchdowns (17 passing and 12 rushing) and 15 turnovers in three NFL seasons. Tim Tebow’s career with the Jets was dismal, finishing the season with just eight passing attempts for 39 yards and zero touchdowns.
What do you think of the First Take take on Tim Tebow? What grade would you give Tim Tebow so far?
Although preseason games are seldom a precursor of what happens when NFL teams take the field for real, with that being said, do you believe that Tim Tebow will make the Philadelphia Eagles regular season roster?
[Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images Sport]